Local journalism in danger

Our personal weekly selection about journalism and innovation. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

edited by Marco Nurra


  • Local journalism is in danger. In more and more towns, traditional news reporting is disappearing. Which means people don’t know what the problems are, or how to get to solutions. But local news publications seem to be held in fairly low regard, according to a new University of Sheffield study. People seem to value interpersonal exchanges as news sources and appear disinterested in traditional local journalism.
  • The Local News Lab provides 8 questions to ask about the health of local news and information in your area. “Listening is a revolutionary act,” says Jesse Hardman, the journalist behind the New Orleans Listening Post.
    🔊 We’ll tackle these topics at ‪#‎ijf16‬:

📅 “Cultivating healthier local news ecosystems”, with Dan Gillmor and Josh Stearns

  • How the smallest newsrooms in America are using video: “All of these projects are very early in their testing and development, but each contain some useful ideas about how local newsrooms can test video with their audience”, said Josh Stearns.
  • And now for something completely different… Have you seen our mockumentary miniseries?Behind The News’ is set in an online newsroom and highlights some aspects of the rapidly-changing world of journalism. 
    😄 Here’s a taster:
  • Who are newspapers’ competitors? Julia Beizer, Director of Product at The Washington Post, has been very clear about it: “Our biggest competitors aren’t CNN or other news outlets, but Hulu, Netflix, Facebook; places where people are increasingly spending their time. In order to compete, we have to provide a user experience as good as these platforms.”
  • It’s not a secret that platforms and publishers are increasingly close. Last week, Facebook announced they’re looking for a reporter to spin some yarns for its feel-good ‘Stories’ project. As emily bell said last week at the University of Cambridge: “Maybe next time Mark Zuckerberg is asked if he is a platform or a publisher he will answer ‘what is the difference?’”
  • Google hires founder of 4chan, the ‘Zuckerberg of online underground’. Chris Poole founded the controversial online community 4chan when he was 15, and many speculate he’s going to help Google tackle social media.
  • Mic wants to go beyond clicks and measure actual impact. The news site is trying to connect the dots between reader behavior and the actual fundamental value it is providing to its audience. Mathew Ingram explains how in this article.
  • Tim de Gier, Nieman Fellow at Harvard, has published an interesting basic cyber-security guide for journalists: Defense against the dark arts.
  • Very, very few news organizations encrypt their data, and that’s a big problem. Unlike Apple, media companies don’t make password-protected gadgets with localized encryption. But they do have a related technical problem in that most of them haven’t done enough to encrypt the networked flow of information in and out of the newsroom. This leaves sources and users vulnerable.
    🔊 We’ll tackle these topics at ‪#‎ijf16‬:

📅 “Hackers’ Corner”, 13 sessions with digital security experts from the corporate environment, trainers, digital activists and academic researchers.

  • The erosion of media freedom was described in a depressing assessment by Mijatović During, the representative on freedom of the media of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as she prepares to leave office on March 10.
  • Our role as independent news gatherers is not recognized anymore; we have become targets of regimes and terrorist organizations.” Alessandro Rota is an Italian photographer who has braved war conditions in Asia to cover the violence that has torn the region apart.
    🔊 We’ll tackle these topics at ‪#‎ijf16‬:

📅 “Syria, how (not) to to report on a war”, with Eugenio Dacrema, Alessandro Rota and Marta Serafini

📅 “Syria: journalists tell of hope”, with Antonella Palermo, Marcell Shehwaro, Lorenzo Trombetta and Eva Ziedan

  • Citizen journalists turned Twitter into a newswire in Turkey. The co-founder of 140journos explains how they have built a citizen-sustained news agency from scratch.

International Journalism Festival is the biggest annual media event in Europe. It’s an open invitation to interact with the best of world journalism. All sessions are free entry for all attendees, all venues are situated in the stunning setting of the historic town centre of Perugia. Come and join us!

Perugia, Italy | 6–10 april 2016 | X edition #ijf16 | Free entry
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